Sick and Famous


Years ago I was reading about a drastic upswing in stalking of famous people.  A news caster who had recently been a victim said “I realized that here I had been in his living room every night for years, talking to him.  In his mind, we had a very intimate relationship.”

This blew my mind.

On Sunday, I got to go meet my own victim.

Just kidding, I only stalked a little.

I got to meet The Amazing Youtube Family.  It was an experience full of fails.  Here’s how it went.

Fail number one:  On Sunday morning I woke up and…oh no.  I was sick.  I had a super serious disease that struck like lightning in the middle of the night.

“I can’t go.”  I said to The Pastor.  “I am deathly ill.  I probably won’t survive the weekend.  I should stay home so I don’t spread this disease.  I don’t want to be patient zero for the next plague that kills millions and alters the course of history.  I don’t want to go down in history like that.  I should just stay home and die quietly.”

“You are going.” said The Pastor.  “You have a cold.  Normal people still go out in public with colds.  They even make medication so that other people can’t even tell you have a cold.  Science has come a long way.  You are a normal healthy adult and you will survive.  I promise.  Now get up and get dressed.”

The Pastor doesn’t know anything about disease prevention, obviously, and he is not a licensed physician so I wasn’t sure he actually knew what he was talking about, but after that lecture I was pretty sure that he would be the one held responsible for the death of millions of people, if it came to that.  I was free of that responsibility.  I got up and got ready.

The Pastor had a meeting and was not able to make it to The Amazing Youtube Family meet and greet, so I had to go alone.  I don’t really do things like meet new people alone so I dragged along four of my five children (one was at summer camp).  The children were not overly enthusiastic about going.  They would rather be doing things like lying around on the couch playing video game.  They get this trait from me so I couldn’t even really get mad at them.

“Look,” I said “just do this one thing for me.  We will go there, meet them, get a picture as proof that I actually did it, and possibly be in their Youtube video.  Two hours tops and there will be at most twenty other people there.”

They sighed and piled into the car.

Fail number two:  The place we were meeting The Amazing Youtube Family was two hours away.  This would not normally be a problem if we were going someplace like an amusement park or a water park or any other place ending in the word “park”.  We were not going to any of those places.  We were just going to a plain old park to meet someone my children were not particularly excited about.

They decided to get some revenge.

“Wow,” said Firstborn.  “I’m surprised you are dong this.  Meeting strangers is not something you usually want to do.”

“I know!” I responded “I’m super brave.  Also, your father thinks it will be good for me and is forcing me, but mostly I’m being super brave.”

“You really are brave.” Firstborn agreed “I just hope you don’t do anything you’ll regret later.  You know, something really embarrassing.  Especially not while the camera is rolling!  Wouldn’t that be horrible?  Imagine doing something super embarrassing and having it end up as some viral Youtube hit!”

I was imagining it.  I have an excellent imagination.  I was imagining it very well.

“I won’t do anything embarrassing.” I said very softly, not really believing it.  “And also I am brave.”

“And all the sneezing you were doing earlier!” another child chimed in “Wow, I sure hope that cold medicine doesn’t wear off just as the camera pans to you.  Wouldn’t it be awful if the Youtube video was just ten minutes of you sneezing?!”

“Oh! Or what if you sneeze all over The Amazing Youtube Family!  That would be epic!” another child announced.

“That’s it!”  I shrieked.  “I am not turning this car around!  We will now ride in silence and think about how brave I am!”

I had totally lost it.  I had gone over the edge.  The children all sat back satisfied.  Their mission had been accomplished.

Fail number three:  We arrived at the meet and greet.  Much to my surprise there were like a billion people there!  I had been watching footage of these meet and greets for days to calm my fear.  There were normally maybe twenty people there.  Twenty normal people.  These were not even normal people!  This was a meeting of the billion most interesting people ever!  People who were starting their own co-ops.  People who raised squirrels.  People who were single handedly solving the food crises all over the world, and every one of them looked like they had just stepped off the pages of Hipster Today magazine.

I started to feel very small.

I started to feel not very fancy.

I started to feel very nervous.  What would I even say to The Amazing Youtube Family once I met them?  The Pastor had told me to prepare some questions ahead of time.  He knows that this is necessary if I am going to hold a conversation with people in a normal situation.  It’s essential if I’m not going to make an idiot of myself in a stressful situation.  Guess what I had forgotten to do in all my excitement?

Suddenly The Amazing Youtube family arrived and… they were completely normal.  They looked exactly how I would look if I had spent the last few months traveling with my family on a bus meeting people, except better dressed and not insane.  They looked tired.  They looked less than excited by the huge crowd.  They looked like… people at work.

And then I realized that this was not such a big deal.  This was just another day at work for these people.  I could totally talk to these people and not be a crazed idiot because this was their job.

So I stood in line.

Fail number four:  It was my turn to talk to The Amazing Youtube family.  I opened my mouth and nothing really came out.  I thought about the list of questions The Pastor had recommended and hated myself a little.

Then I said “Idon’thaveanythingtosaytoyoupoeplesojusttakethestupidpicture!”

Yeah, I was brilliant.

But they were gracious and still posed for a picture.


Finally we waited three whole hours for the billions of super interesting people to say billions of super interesting things to The Amazing Youtube Family.  I started to worry a little bit because the next part was a video where everyone got to introduce themselves and talk about what they were growing.  I had prepared something to say for this part so I was feeling okay, but it was now 7pm.  I hadn’t taken any cold medicine for a while.  I knew that I was moments away from it wearing off and I did NOT want that on Youtube!  I stood and waited.  And I also prayed.  When the camera got to me, I mustered up all my courage, smiled big, and only stuttered once!  You can watch the video by clicking here.  We are at 12:55, in case you are interested.

Then, the moment the camera turned off, I turned back into Plague Girl.  It was like I was the Cinderella of sickness and the clock had just struck midnight.

I didn’t care.  I had done the whole thing.  I was brave. I had survived.  Also, I had learned that even famous Youtube families are just normal people doing their job.  A job that is sometimes a lot of fun, sometimes a lot of work, and sometimes very confusing because of freakishly tall fancy farmers who talk fast but have nothing to say.